Whenever I update my phone with a new IOS, I find some kind of unexpected addition and this time Apple apparently decided to monitor my screen time and send me a little report every Sunday evening.
Courtesy of some invasive surveillance system that I shudder to even ponder, a typed message appears across my screen informing me that I spent so many hours on the average day using my phone.
The first time this popped up I was horrified not only because somewhere, someone or someone’s are keeping track of my screen time…but good grief, the amount was shocking when I realized that wasn’t my week total but my average per day.
I was also mildly alarmed at the dual response in my head that arose. Part of me wanted to really restrict using my phone so I could get a better report and part of me wondered if I could beat my record the following week.
Yes, I can relate to the old cartoon figures where the character had a tiny angel on one shoulder and a tiny devil on the other offering conflicting encouragement to the victim…but that is for another day…
Back to my phone.
I actually even entertained the passing thought that maybe I should use my computer for more of my email checking and social media following/posting so that the time wasn’t logged into this odious app that was clocking my screen time.
I was a bit shame-filled for the amount of time I was spending on my phone when I often complain I don’t have enough time to get important things done. And I was angry with Apple for telling me…
Why couldn’t they just mind their own business and leave me in the dark about it?
And then slowly God did that whisper thing He does with me.
Because isn’t this so applicable (I tried to do an “apple” pun there but couldn’t bring myself to follow through…but am stooping to let you know it entered my mind) to our approach to God’s Word.
I read in Galatians this morning how Paul wrote that the Scriptures declare that the whole world is a prisoner of sin and I think if I were to send that out as a message on every single phone today, the reaction would most likely be similar to mine when I found out I had spent a ridiculous amount of time, on average, every day on my phone.
We don’t like to hear the truth.
Because it calls for a response from us.
We don’t like truth because it exposes our most vulnerable places. Truth does not allow for excuses or cover ups.
The message on my phone was not judging me.
It was informing me of a habit that has gotten out of control and is eating away at valuable time that I complain I don’t have enough of.
The Scriptures point out God’s heart and His wisdom and His teachings and they highlight the places in me and my ways that do not line up with His.
If I say I follow Christ, I need to look at my actions, attitudes, beliefs…and measure how they are lining up with His Word.
His Word is truth.
Whether I like it or not.
When I am faced with Truth, I will also always face the temptation to both justify myself and consider ways of working around the truth so that I can continue to do what I want to do, the way I want to do it.
But the Truth is….I am only justified by the One who took my place, paid my debt and it is only by surrender to Him through obedience to His teachings that I can live a life worthy of His gift to me.
The season of Advent is such an important time for us to consider the condition of our hearts as we end another year. Will we use this time to look into the Scriptures and face truth? The choice is ours each day.
I am working on doing some digging in to Scripture to prepare some writings to countdown to Christmas.
Of course there will be a mix of things as I write daily but I look forward to sharing the Journey through Advent with you in a fresh way this year <3